ANKARA // Turkey’s PKK Kurdish rebel group on Monday called on fellow Kurds to cross into Syria and combat ISIL militants besieging a town near the border.
According to the pro-Kurdish agency Firat, the group has called for mobilisation saying “the day of glory and honour has arrived”.
The appeal urged young Kurds in Turkey to join the fight against ISIL forces around Ain Al Arab, known as Kobane in Kurdish.
Until the ISIL assault, Kobane – the third biggest Kurdish population centre in Syria – had been relatively safe, sheltering 200,000 people displaced from elsewhere in Syria.
“We call on our entire people, as well as our friends, to step up the resistance,” the PKK statement said.
Meanwhile, a PKK leader, Dursun Kalkan, appealed for “all Kurds to unite their forces”. He accused the Turkish government of “collaboration” with ISIL.
Turkey has been criticised for indirectly encouraging the formation of the ISIL group through its support of Islamist elements within the Syrian rebellion against President Bashar Al Assad, criticism that Ankara has rejected.
More than 130,000 Syrian Kurds have fled across the border into Turkey, Turkish deputy prime minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Monday.
“If ISIL attacks continue in the Kobane region, Turkey may face an intensive influx,” Mr Kurtulmus said.
“We have taken all necessary measures in case of a continued influx of displaced people. We don’t want that, of course, but we are ready,” he said.
On Sunday, Turkish police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse angry crowds of Kurds.
* Agence France-Press